Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Australian Online Decor Magazines

I wanted to do a post on my favourite online home decor and lifestyle magazines but there's just too many out there.  It took me a while to hop on to the online magazine habit.  I have sadly watched many paper mags go out of print (Domino, Blueprint, Chocolat) and have less room to store new issues; I see these versions as a great alternative.  I find I get the same "high" reading the online mags as I did with the paper ones.

So I'll start my gushing by talking about two from Australia.

Adore Magazine was founded in 2010 by Loni Parker, a graphic designer who hails from Brisbane.  This issue features one of my "I-wish-I-could-go-there" stores, Black and Spiro.  Going through these pages, I was just breathless with excitement.  It's almost heartbreaking how wonderful it all is:

Adore Magazine - June/ July Issue

Let's take a peak, shall we?
Excuse me, I need to wipe some drool off my chin.  They also have a terrific blog called Adore Home that certainly echoes the same tone that is set my their magazine.

Next up?!  How about Ivy and Piper?! Founded by two interior designers who met in design school, the two individuals merged their creativity by sharing their passion for modern vintage esthetic.  Melanie and Elizabeth bring the glamour to the forefront and entice the reader to add a little colour and fantasy into their home.

Ivy & Piper - June/ July issue

My absolute favourites are Jason Grant and his love for the Boston Terrier, Greg Natale's NSW Southern Highland dream home, and interior designer, Caitlin Wilson.

All I can say is *sign*.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

News Flash - Trish's Pink Diner

Trish is one of those fabulous persons that you meet where:

a) You want to know how she walks or even dances in 6" heels
b) You'd like to know how she is able to get her hair looking right even when it's 40 degrees in the club
c) You're very curious about her dwellings and if her home is as fabulous as her outfits.

I could write a whole post on a) and b) but I've decided to share with you my conversation with Trish as she reminisces about the Pink Palace and talks to me about her pink kitchen in the new home that she shares with her boyfriend, an ever curious Boston Terrier named Bruno (the destroyer) and the wise ol' cat, Romeo.

Trish and Bruno "The Destroyer"
The handsome little guy

The first time I went to their home I walked into the living area and saw the flash of pink coming from the kitchen. Oh... so pretty, so fun... so Trish. Her previous home was the birth place of the Pink and Drinks and other fun themed gatherings; it is fondly remembered as the Pink Palace.

The lovely hostess at one of her theme parties

The best decorations are the simplest ones
Saying "Goodbye!" to the Pink Palace

The decor in her current kitchen is a carefully curated gallery of memories and oddities, all which conjure up the several legends that her and her friends share.

How would you describe your kitchen?
Retro Barbie meets June Cleaver. It's similar to my old kitchen. I moved into this place first and Isaac (her boyfriend) didn't really have a choice on what it would look like. When I told him I was going to paint it all pink his response was "What???!!!" I could give him any of the other rooms but I'm taking this one. Besides, he doesn't cook. But the pink doesn't bother him; he's very comfortable with himself. He thinks the kitchen is very "me".

Tell me the history on how the colour pink has popped into your life?
It's funny because when I was a kid I had a hot pink room and I hated it. We moved into the place and it was like that when we got there. I wasn't allowed to paint over it. So I just put posters all over the room to cover up as much as I could. I guess it's because I was such a tom boy back then.

What do you think the colour pink says about you or your design esthetic?
Well, in the late 90's and early 2000 pink really took on a different meaning for me. It was being used in alternative styles - like, pink skulls on clothing. It was kind of edgy, fem and freaky - which I thought was kind of cool. I saw this black hoodie with pink skulls and thought - I like it.

So you recently moved in with your boyfriend. What were some of the challenges with combining household items in this kitchen?
This kitchen is pretty much mine - since I had a lot more kitchen stuff than he did. We had lots of stuff and we gave a lot of it away, threw a bunch of stuff away and some stuff is in storage.

What is your favourite part of your kitchen?
All the decor, the hoo-has, the knick knacks - they make it all personal. Some of them are gifts - like the "Sexy Bitch" light, which is from Isaac's mom and sister. It was a gift for Christmas and I thought it was hilarious.

The pink Kimono is from Isaac's uncle. He's a musician and fan of his, who is from Japan, would always drop off gifts to him because she loved his music so much. He had no room for it and asked us if I wanted it. I said "Sure!?"

The ukulele is from our first trip together in Hawaii. There have been many more trips after that and I have little things from each of them, like the maracas, which are from Costa Rica.

What I love about Trish's kitchen is how much "life" is on the shelves, in the cupboards and on the fridge. The room is unapologetic in how girly and fun it is - just like Trish.

Monday, June 13, 2011

For the Urban Gardener

When I lived in the suburbs I spent a great deal of time at Garden Works in North Burnaby.  It truly was the mecca for me in regards to plants.  I could spend hours there, there's always something new to discover, choices to make, and plans to develop.  I certainly go to Home Depot and Rona to buy plants but I find that the lack of care they provide the plants and the sheer numbers that they have (all squished together) results in infestations.  I notice a large number of black gnats on certain plants - which I think is attributed to over watering and lack of sun.  But that's just a novice's guess.

Now that I am car free and living in the city, I have been on the search for new places to do my loitering.  What I love about smaller garden centers is how they resemble little cottages.  There's just something very special about them.  Since I'm always in the Commercial Drive neighborhood, I had driven past Figaro's Garden several times and just admired how pretty it was.  Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the Drive, this sweet little spot glows in an already lush neighborhood where natural looking gardens are the norm.

Mary Hudson's pic is so much better than the ones that I took.  Check out her blog other lovely pics that she has taken on her blog.

Tracy's pics are also ten times prettier than mine.  Check more of them out on her blog.

So, I did take some pics of my own back in May (?).  It was still rather chilly out but I was in the neighborhood to pick up some manure for the garden that the local neighborhood garden community was selling for charity.
Mmmm, what do we have here????
Hey, let me in!!!!!

My pics don't do the place justice.  Maybe they'll grant me an opportunity to allow me to interview them????!!!!  Hey, it's worth a try!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My First Shout Out!!!!!

After a 3 week hiatus, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Liz. H from It's Great To Be Home listed me as one of her top supporters of May.  I hadn't even realized this and was just spending my Sunday morning blog stalking.  While I was creeping on her blog, I just had to sit back for a second because I saw my banner and thought "Hey, that's me, cool!"

Thanks, Liz!

It's Great to Be Home - IGTBH's Top Supporters in May

Animal Kingdom

It all started out with this little guy:

I thought it was cute, simple and it just seemed to fit with the scheme of my bedroom.  Have you noticed you start noticing how prevalent certain things are once you find interest in it?  After buying my first decorative pet, I started amassing more and more.  It got to the point where I had to put out a moratorium on my decorative pet collecting but each time I saw a new one, I would have that conversation with myself "Can I have it?  Please?  I promise I'll take good care of it!  I'll dust it everyday!  I have a name for it already?"

Here are some of my favourites:
Poodle from Urban Barn
Puffin!  Former display prop from Aritzia
Pillows made by me!!!!!! Trays from Ikea
Dante the bulldog - I got him in Hong Kong
Chip the Chipmunk - a gift from my lovely boyfriend
Danny the Dachshund - from HomeSense

And ,yes, I like dogs.  I really, really like dogs.

To view more pics of my growing Animal Kingdom, take a peak at the album, below:

Animal Kingdom

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gardening, hits and misses

It's been a pretty cold and dreary spring and I'm ever joyful that the sun has finally decided to come out and play.  My garden is coming along quite nicely but it wasn't without a couple of sad failures.

As usual, I get a bit ahead of myself and buy the first basil plants that I see.  Of course, I bought them too early and it was rather cold still and some of them just took a serious beating.

Also, the nerve plant just simply withered and decayed. 

Pretty Nerve Plant
Serious Nerve Plant Fail

Other failures:
mmmmm, basil
ughhh - carnage

Extraordinary Coleus.  Aren't they beautiful????
Absolutely pathetic.  They certainly don't like the wind.

But enough of my failures, let's talk about what's working.  Petunias.  Seriously.  They are growing like crazy.  It's pretty obvious where the best sun is because the planters in the centre of the patio rails are flourishing like you wouldn't believe.

Picture taken the last week of May
Picture taken on June 11

This happened with no plant food and minimal watering.

Also worth noting, the planter box of petunias and impatients:

Amazing - taken June 2011
Pic taken end of May

Here are a couple new pics from my garden:

For pics to Gardening 2011, please check the photo album link.

Coming soon - Pics from my little trip to Art Knapp and Figaro's Garden.